Recommendations for the section of University Avenue from NW 6th St to NE 3rd St include a cycle track, narrower vehicle lanes, and, in some areas, wider sidewalks, more landscaping, and some added medians. The CNU Florida board of directors authorized the following letter to the Florida Department of Transportation, urging the plan’s swift implementation.
Hon. Greg Evans
FDOT District 2
1109 South Marion Ave.
Lake City, FL 32025
Dear Secretary Evans:
I am writing on behalf of the Florida chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism, an organization dedicated to creating great urban places in the State of Florida. However, I am also writing as the parent of Max Geller, a University of Florida freshman who resides at West University Avenue and 13th Street in Gainesville.
I am asking you as District Secretary to adopt, move to the top of funding priorities, and swiftly implement the HDR Engineering plan to slow motor vehicles on West University Avenue and create a “complete street,” safe for all users.
We understand that FDOT Secretary Thibault has raised the bar through his focus on the “Vital Few” of reducing pedestrian crashes. We see the HDR plan as necessary to achieving the Secretary’s goal along this corridor.
The tragic deaths of University of Florida students, including Sabrina Marie Obando, who was attempting to cross West University Avenue while in a crosswalk, are painful reminders that the existing design speed is far too fast for an urban area populated heavily by students walking back and forth to the University. The context of this corridor has changed over the last several years with construction of many multi-story apartment complexes, each housing hundreds of students, like my son.
Thank you for your very kind consideration.
Richard S. Geller
Chair, CNU Florida